Wanapum Dam Constructions Starts Fixing Crack - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wanapum Dam Constructions Starts Fixing Crack

Posted: Updated:
Repair work is now underway to fix the crack in Wanapum Dam, but the area around the dam is still closed off to the public for the rest of the summer. Repair work is now underway to fix the crack in Wanapum Dam, but the area around the dam is still closed off to the public for the rest of the summer.
BEVERLY, WA - Repair work is now underway to fix the crack in Wanapum Dam, but the area around the dam is still closed off to the public for the rest of the summer. 

It's something you may not think about, but the power of water is amazing. We know now that a crack the size of 5 car lengths in the middle of dam was caused by an mathematical error in the original design that didn't allow the dam to withstand the tremendous pressure. 

"There wasn't enough steel or concrete in the original construction of the dam," Chuck Allen said.

Crews have started drilling more than 40 holes that they will fill with 200 feet of steel from the top of the dam to the river floor below. 

"We are restoring Wanapum spillway to the condition it was prior to the fracture," Allen said. "But we're going beyond that and we're making it stronger than it was before the fracture."

To begin this work, dam officials have brought water levels to historic lows. But that caused a huge problem with the thousands of salmon who run through during spring migration.

What you're looking at is the Wanapum Dam fish ladder. Even though it looks more like a fish water slide. This was just built in the last couple months, because after they lowered the water, the salmon couldn't pass through here. Now they can.

"We had to come up with a plan b and it seems to work quite well," Curt Dotson said. "In 5 weeks we went from we got a problem to we got a solution. It's very impressive."

More than 20 thousand Sockeye and Chinook salmon leap into the makeshift steel box each day. Something that is a beautiful sight to officials who frantically put the system together so the salmon population wouldn't suffer. 

When officials first discovered the crack, they didn't know how bad the damage would be. Now, repairs have begun while successfully maintaining the spring salmon migration. It appears that the biggest loss will be the canceled summer recreation. 

"We really do appreciate the public's patience and understanding," Allen said. "This is a very unique situation. And we anticipate that once we are finished with all the work that we have to do here, that we're not going to see issues like this anymore."

The drilling has already started at wanapum dam, even though it hasn't been officially approved on the federal level yet... officials fully expect that it will be and the end price tag for this entire project... 61 million dollars. 

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Regional NewsMore>>

  • NICU Flight Education Day

    NICU Flight Education Day

    Thursday, April 19 2018 9:56 PM EDT2018-04-20 01:56:54 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:23 PM EDT2018-04-20 02:23:20 GMT

    "This helps us take our basic skills and build on that foundation. It helps us continually work on those skills, run through scenarios. Perfect practice in these scenarios, so when that patient does arrive, we are better equipped and better trained to handle these at-risk premature infants."

    >>

    "This helps us take our basic skills and build on that foundation. It helps us continually work on those skills, run through scenarios. Perfect practice in these scenarios, so when that patient does arrive, we are better equipped and better trained to handle these at-risk premature infants."

    >>
  • How to find out if your Facebook information was stolen by Cambridge Analytica

    How to find out if your Facebook information was stolen by Cambridge Analytica

    Monday, April 9 2018 11:53 AM EDT2018-04-09 15:53:40 GMT

    Facebook is notifying roughly 87 million people who had their information scooped up by political research firm Cambridge Analytica recently.  About 70 million are in the United States, while the rest are primarily in the UK, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  If your information was stolen, a notification will appear at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, along with a new button for changing your privacy settings. Even if your information wasn't stolen, it might be a good ti...

    >>

    Facebook is notifying roughly 87 million people who had their information scooped up by political research firm Cambridge Analytica recently.  About 70 million are in the United States, while the rest are primarily in the UK, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  If your information was stolen, a notification will appear at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, along with a new button for changing your privacy settings. Even if your information wasn't stolen, it might be a good ti...

    >>
  • Interior Department backs off plan to increase fees at popular parks

    Interior Department backs off plan to increase fees at popular parks

    Wednesday, April 4 2018 10:28 AM EDT2018-04-04 14:28:16 GMT
    Yosemite National Park Facebook pageYosemite National Park Facebook page
    The Interior Department is rolling back its plan to increase fees at 17 of the nation's most popular parks.  An interior official says the department is amending the plan following major backlash from the public.  The admission hike would have more than doubled fees during the peak summer season, forcing visitors to pay $70 a car. No word yet on exactly how the rates are being revised. >>
    The Interior Department is rolling back its plan to increase fees at 17 of the nation's most popular parks.  An interior official says the department is amending the plan following major backlash from the public.  The admission hike would have more than doubled fees during the peak summer season, forcing visitors to pay $70 a car. No word yet on exactly how the rates are being revised. >>